Pop-up CycleTrack coming to downtown Raleigh

Andrea Blanford Image
Friday, April 5, 2019
Pop-up CycleTrack coming to downtown Raleigh
Pop-up CycleTrack coming to downtown Raleigh.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- It's something Raleigh has never seen before. This weekend, a pop-up CycleTrack will appear along the east side of Harrington Street, spanning three blocks from Davie Street to Morgan Street.

A CycleTrack is a protected, two-way bike lane that reduces conflict with drivers without eliminating parking on both sides of the street.

Mary Sell, a Raleigh Bicycle and Pedestrian Commissioner, has spent the last three years helping connect local advocacy group Oaks & Spokes with city planners to develop the project.

"We need to do more than just paint on the road if we want to actually encourage people to use their bicycles," said Sell, who shares a car with her husband and opts to ride her bike whenever possible.

"I wish I had a protected facility for my children," she said. "I wish my son could learn to ride his bike in a way that was safe and protected."

The cycling community raised $1,100 to install the pop-up CycleTrack that will use cones and donated planters from Lowe's to form the barrier.

Should the CycleTrack become permanent along the three blocks of Harrington St. known as Phase I of a corridor that could end up connecting the Warehouse District to Glenwood South, the city would also need to install two bicycle traffic signals.

The NC Department of Transportation requires separate signals to accommodate two-way bike traffic.

Paul Black, Raleigh's Bicycle and Pedestrian Program Manager said the City got approval from the Federal Highway Administration to install the signals, costing about $20,000 each, should a permanent CycleTrack get the green light.

"We hope that it's received positively and we can move forward pretty quickly," said Black.

Black said the CycleTrack would be funded through the city's regular, annual funding program that implements the 2016 Bicycle Plan recommendations.

Cyclists are welcome to experience the pop-up CycleTrack with a ribbon cutting Friday at 5 p.m. through Sunday.